Fancy shipping code faster? Want to keep control of quality? Need to know more about how automation is impacting deployment? Then value stream management (VSM) might be just the solution you need.
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Rather than just taking measurements, VSM helps you leverage that data to break down silos, encourage collaboration, and ultimately deliver more of what your customers want more efficiently.
In theory, it sounds fantastic, but in practice, you need a platform like Plandek to really get stuck in. A truly integrated VSM platform will gather everything together and visualise it so your whole team can be on the same page and work together to improve flow.
But before we tell you why we love our partner Plandek so darn much, let's make sure you're steering towards success from the start. Here are five key steps you need to take to get your VSM implementation up and running.
Five key steps to fast-track your VSM success
1. Start identifying your value streams
First, you need to know where the waste is lurking and where the value lies. By identifying your value streams, you can better understand how your customers derive and capture value from your products and services.
Rather than thinking about your organisation's various functions – testing, sales, marketing, etc. – think about the customer journey in terms of flow, from their initial interest through to when they can actually get their hands on that value.
You'll need to know the systems and processes that enable that journey to happen, how they're integrated or connected, the technology and skills that underpin the journey, and how those skills are distributed across teams and locations.
2. Get everything aligned
Work needs to align with your business strategies – and those strategies need to reflect customer needs. Bring leaders together across the organisation to find common ground and build cohesion.
Different parts of the business will have different priorities – whether that's innovation, ROI, keeping on top of budgets, or meeting business demands. Using a VSM platform makes it easier to be transparent and include key stakeholders in the conversation.
Doing this means you can gain buy-in and define team goals with everyone around the table. If compromises have to be made, people are more likely to understand why and know they're in the best interests of the wider business.
3. Bring everyone on board
VSM won't work if people can't see that it's happening. Using a VSM platform like Plandek (see more below) makes it much easier to scale your initiative, giving teams visibility about what their goals are and how the work they're doing is interconnected.
With everyone in the loop, and all toolchains in one place, people can see how work flows through the organisation in real time. By being able to measure what's going on, use features to focus on important metrics, and analyse trends, your people will develop next-level insight into their processes.
4. Make value happen
With value streams identified, work aligned with business strategies, and everyone on board, you can start to execute that work and generate more value for your customers.
Using VSM, teams will work from a single source of truth to understand the optimal way to get the job done. They'll have the data they need to make key decisions, trust and visibility from their colleagues and other teams, and the confidence to follow through.
5. Never stop improving
This seamless collaboration doesn't stop there. VSM is one way you can support collaboration and effective communication, continuously driving process and software improvements.
For this to happen, you need to give your teams the tools, training, and autonomy they need to gather data and recognise challenges. Then they can figure out where waste can be eliminated, improvements made, and more value realised for the end customer.
This won't always be a smooth process, which is why it's important to communicate as you go, learn from any bumps in the road, share your results across the organisation, and celebrate all your successes.
Push on with Plandek
There are a number of VSM platforms on the market, bringing your tools and teams together in one place to help you identify waste, reduce process cycle times, and implement process improvements. They can give you the real-time data and analytical tools you need to support those improvements too.
As a best-in-class agile delivery, value stream, and engineering metrics platform, Plandek is perfectly positioned to help your VSM implementation succeed. We've partnered with Plandek to help businesses like yours enhance agile and DevOps initiatives.
We love Plandek because it's built on a team-led philosophy that encourages self-improvement, but it's also designed to scale – ideal for our enterprise clients and complex hierarchies.
It also offers heaps of customisation across its dashboards, alerts, and analytics, as well as being stack- and process-agnostic, so you can get the solution you need rather than a generic offering.
Sound like a plan(dek)?
No matter what tools you're using or where the problems are in your pipeline, we've got the experience to help. As part of our agile and DevOps consultancy, we can assess the challenges you’re facing and work with you to find the solutions.
That includes identifying meaningful metrics, mining data across your toolchain, building a roadmap for success, and helping you implement Plandek to make it all a lot easier to manage.
If Plandek sounds like the perfect partner for your problems, this powerful tool and our collaborative approach are just a few clicks away.
Get in touch today.